Research Findings

Girls in Canada subject to dating violence, self-harm, low self-esteem, racial discrimination

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A new report by the Girls Action Foundation, Beyond Appearances: Brief on the Main Issues Facing Girls in Canada, uncovers the real story of girls’ lives in Canada. The never before compiled information reveals that girls still face many hurdles despite gains in education and legal equality.Violence persists in many forms, including widespread experiences of sexual harassment, dating violence, and racism.

Teen girls’ mental health should be a national concern. Self-harm, depressive symptoms, low self-esteem and attempted suicide are far higher than for teen boys.

Girls are not all on an equal playing field – those belonging to Indigenous, immigrant, rural and racialized communities face specific barriers and challenges.

Solutions exist – including policies that take girls into account, and programs that provide girls with safe spaces to build confidence, find mentors and take action on what matters to them. By starting early to support girls in fulfilling their potential and alleviating challenges, Canada will be closer to reducing the gender gap. Girls Action Foundation is a leader in girls’ empowerment programs and steward of a network of some 300 independent girl-serving organizations across Canada.

Find more information and the full report on their website.

The Global Gender Gap Index 2012

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World Economic Forum - Geneva Switzerland
Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
Laura D. Tyson, University of California, Berkeley
Saadia Zahidi, World Economic Forum
 
 ".......The Global Gender Gap Index is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. 

 The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time. 

The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.

 ".....The Index is designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities in those countries. 

".....The Global Gender Gap Report's index assesses 135 countries, representing more than 93% of the world's population, on how well resources and opportunities are divided among male and female populations. The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas:

 - Economic participation and opportunity - salaries, participation and highly-skilled employment

- Education - access to basic and higher levels of education

- Political empowerment - representation in decision-making structures

- Health and survival - life expectancy and sex ratio

Read the full report.

Overview of HIV and AIDS in Canada

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The HIV and AIDS in Canada: Surveillance Report to December 31st, 2011 presents an overview of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada, based on case reports of HIV and AIDS submitted by all provinces and territories (P/T). This report is published on an annual basis as part of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) responsibility to collect and analyze surveillance data at the national level.

Read more.

What happens to women who are denied abortions?

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The Global Turnaway Study - the first study of its kind - recently released its first results.

The major aim of the study is to describe the mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic outcomes of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. The study is being conducted by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, a research group based at the University of California San Francisco.

The researchers say, in a summary of the recent findings, that they have found “ there are no mental health consequences of abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. There are other interesting findings: even later abortion is safer than childbirth and women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term are three times more likely than women who receive an abortion to be below the poverty level two years later.”

Read more about the study and the results here:

What happens to women denied abortions? This is the first scientific study to find out

The Global Turnaway Study (Facebook)

Turnaway Study

The poor health of women in BC prisons

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Women in prison face several challenges not faced by their male counterparts, including lack of gender-specific health services and traumatic separation from their children.

An article in the BC Medical Journal reports that “women in both the provincial and federal correction systems in BC tend to be younger than the general population and poorly educated. Many are also mothers. Bloodborne infections such as HIV and hepatitis C are more prevalent among incarcerated women than incarcerated men, as is mental illness; in addition, women commonly have a psychiatric diagnosis, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a history of abuse and victimization. Incarcerated women in BC identified nine health goals as essential for their successful reintegration into society following their release from prison, including the provision of safe housing and improved relationships with their families.”

Read  The scope of the problem: The health of incarcerated women in BC.

New evidence links chemical breast cancer risk to workplace exposures in plastics industry

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A new Canadian study published this week presents strong evidence that women working in the plastics industry are exposed to workplace chemicals that can increase their risk of breast cancer and reproductive abnormalities.

This study, spearheaded by Robert DeMatteo, in partnership with Margaret Keith, James Brophy, and the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health (NNEWH), supports Brophy and Keith’s recently reported epidemiological findings of a 5-fold elevated breast cancer risk for premenopausal women who work in the plastics industry. Together, these studies reveal the need for swift regulatory action on carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals in Canada.

Read the press release and the study on our website.

Making Healthy Connections with Racialized Communities

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Girls and Young Women's Experiences with Sport, Physical Activity and Healthy Living

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) has released a new report about the healthy living experiences of girls and young women from ethnic communities. The report discusses the unique sport and physical activity needs, interests and experiences of girls and young women from ethnic communities, shares insights and experiences from community and program leaders, and provides recommendations to enhance program and service delivery.

The report is part of CAAWS' Making Healthy Connections with Racialized Communities: Girls and Young Women's Experiences with Sport, Physical Activity and Healthy Living project. According to Sport Canada's 2005 "Sport Participation in Canada" report, girls and women from ethnic communities are the most underrepresented in the Canadian sport and recreation system. In the 2006 "Inclusive Model for Sport and Recreation Programming for Immigrant and Refugees Youth", the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) reported that many community-based sport and physical activity programs are not gender appropriate, and fail to address parental and cultural concerns with respect to girls' and young women's participation. OCASI  recommended that more girl-focused programs be created.

To download the Report, the application package to be a Workshop Facilitator and/or to host a workshop in your community, visit  CAAWS’ website.

Overweight and obese pregnant women talk about theirs needs and feelings

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A new report examines the psychological, emotional, and social implications of overweight and obesity in pregnancy, as well as the experiences of women with overweight or obesity and those of their health care providers.

Weight expectations: Experiences and needs of overweight and obese pregnant women and their healthcare providers arises out of a joint project of the Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence.

Download the executive summary here or visit ACEWH’s website.

Injury and Injury Prevention: Women in Work Related to Mining

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This new report from the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence brings together research on Aboriginal women working in mining industries in Canada. It includes the voices of seventeen women occupying a variety of positions in the mining sector within rural, remote and northern settings in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

Read more about this report by Roberta Stout and download the full report on PWHCE’s website.

Breastfeeding: Understanding the motivations and supports for women in Saskatoon and Winnipeg

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A new report from the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence by Y. Hanson & R. Stout

Executive Summary:

Over the course of 2011-2012, eighteen mothers and five service providers from Winnipeg and Saskatoon were asked a series of questions to understand the motivations, challenges and supports for breastfeeding. 

Framed within a healthy living perspective, which considers ways to improve long-term health and reduce non-communicable diseases through eating well and staying active, the following questions were the driving force behind these discussions:

- What are mothers’ understanding of the overall and long-term benefits of breastfeeding including preventing obesity, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses? How does this understanding affect their decisions to initiate and continue breastfeeding exclusively?

- What knowledge and information about breastfeeding do mothers receive from their cultural communities and from family?

- What are the role of programs and policies in women’s decision to breastfeed? How can messages and strategies be improved to encourage exclusive breastfeeding?

Read the report on the PWHCE website.

 

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